Arne Sorenson: End Discrimination at the Westin Charlotte

Arne Sorenson: End Discrimination at the Westin Charlotte

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I solicit the support and strength of not only this community but this nation to help end racism against African Americans and every other minority that is a subject of racial discrimination. Myself along with countless others have been victims of racial, religious and employment discrimination from Westin Hotels & Resorts under the leadership of Marriott International. The CEO of Marriott International (Arne Sorenson), Marriott corporate representative (Maribelle Carrero), HR Director (Mary Jo Marasco) and Westin Hotel Manager (Toby Scott-Long) have all been notified about the racism, discrimination and unjust practices at the Westin Charlotte. I’m a 27 year old African American born and raised into the standard of Holiness. My adult life has been cultivated by holiness and righteousness. I’m diligently devoted to serving god and living a life of holiness. I don’t wear makeup, jewelry or pants as apart of my devotion. I was questioned by the HR director what religion did I belong to and why was it necessary to have these provisions . I proudly let her know that I was a Christian. She then  asked was my religion new or newly made up. I let her know that Christianity and the standard of holiness has been around for over 2000 years. Statements such as “it’s a rarity of people of my kind to dress like this.” have been made which was extremely insulting. My immediate director Jennifer Mastroianni made similar comments questioning me as to why I’m so professional, smart and well put together by how I dress because that’s unusual for someone like me. My immediate director refused to make religious accommodations even though I notified her this was included under the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I have been recently reprimanded by supporting MLK Day and Black History Month, federally acclaimed events. I was scorned for wearing a dashiki to work in honor of Black History Month. Derogatory remarks and racial slurs have been said to me, informants attempt to intimidate me. My work area is randomly vandalized.  In addition to these things, HR Manager LaQuisha Carter and Director Jennifer Mastroianni attempted to ambush me to sign timekeeping policy forms that I already advised corporate I would not sign because it was inconsistent with FSLA laws. They were also upset with my ability to articulate myself and address their errors by telling me my email etiquette was unprofessional. I advised them both that legally I wasn’t required to comply nor be in this meeting especially since corporate advised that it would be the HR director to meet with me. The HR manager told me she wasn’t speaking in terms of legal and continued to neglect the fact that I told her this situation has escalated above her head and I didn’t have to speak to her. I ended up abandoning the meeting and going back to my work area, where I collapsed and stopped  breathing. I was rushed to the hospital, in the process EMT advised that LaQuisha was violating HIPAA laws by her line of questioning to EMT and advised me to report this to corporate. This has caused a great deal of emotional stress. I have submitted all of this information to corporate yet they refuse to do anything and are allowing these unjust practices to persist. There are white workers there that will refuse to service black guests. The property is fully aware. This property is a valid supporter of pass practice, double standards, discrimination and racism. Recently, in a conversation with Hotel Manager, Toby Scott-Long I told him he claimed he was unaware of the racism. I asked now that he is aware is he going to continue to allow it, as he stuttered he said yes then no and then told me this is for corporate not me, an indirect admission. African Americans at the Westin Charlotte are denied training, proper scheduling, promotions, proper breaks and fair treatment according to state and federal laws. I have been continually retaliated against and treated as a problem. However, I understand that anything worth having is worth fighting for. At some point silence is betrayal not only to myself but to others, and that’s why I’m speaking up. The management at Westin Charlotte is used to doing this and no one has ever challenged them. Thursday, the corporate office just decided to request a meeting me for questioning me further about the report, in which I previously provided detailed and vivid information. I stated that given the nature of the situation I will only agree to a recorded interview because a camera is my only line of defense. I have received no response in reference to the recorded interview request since. The fact that these individuals think that they can treat people this way and get away with it is disgusting. Many have fought and died to protect and secure the justice and equality for African Americans, yet here we are in 2020 still fighting for the same right. In a society where it’s considerably dangerous to be black by those who are intimidated by our diversity, innovation, intellect and individuality it’s not acceptable for any minority to live in fear of those who essentially fear them. Please help me send the message that racism is not acceptable, discrimination is not acceptable. The wounds of the African American people have powered the wisdom and the grace to know that we still have a voice, our voice has purpose and our purpose will be fulfilled! If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. Today I ask the nation to stand in unity against the racism and the unfair treatment of African Americans at the Westin Charlotte!! Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere! - Martin Luther King Jr. 

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